CIVIL

Judges (Sub-ordinate) Rating System in West Bengal

Rating System 

The rating system refers to the evaluation parameters in relation to the quantitative workload of judicial officers. The rating system prevalent in a State prescribes the quantitative benchmark that is expected of judicial officers and how they are rated for the workload achieved by them.

Units System

In this system, each entry in the Norms is described as a unit, number of units or some fraction of a unit. The work done by a judge is then assessed in term of the aggregate of units earned by him in a day, month, quarter or a year. For example, in Chhattisgarh, a judicial officer in Higher Judicial Service is rated poor if his daily output is less than 5 units. In New Delhi a judicial officer is rated ‘Inadequate’ if his quarterly output is less than 300 units.


Quarterly Assessment for District Judges and Fast Track Court Judges, F.T.C Judges with less than 25 pending civil cases, Judge, City Civil Court and Judge, City Sessions Court 

Quantitative Benchmark Rating

Below 210 units Poor
210 units and above Inadequate
240 units and above Adequate
300 units and above Good
360 units and above Very good
420 units and above Outstanding

Quarterly Assessment District Judges having more than 40 courts under their judgeship

Quantitative Benchmark Rating

Below 105 units Poor
Between 105 and 119 units Inadequate
Between 120 and 150 units Adequate
300 units and above Good
360 units and above Very good
420 units and above Outstanding

Quarterly Assessment for Judges, Special Court Conducting I.E. Act Cases 

Quantitative Benchmark Rating

Below 180 units Poor
180 units and above Inadequate
210 units and above Adequate
240 units and above Good
300 units and above Very good
360 units and above Outstanding

Quarterly Assessment for Chief Judge, City Civil Court/Chief Judge P.S.C Court and Chief Judge, City Sessions Court

Quantitative Benchmark Rating

Below 120 units Poor
120 units and above Inadequate
150 units and above Adequate
160 units and above Good
180 units and above Very good
210 units and above Outstanding

Monthly Assessment for Civil Judge, Senior Division 

Quantitative Benchmark Rating

Below 100 units Inadequate
100 to 110 units Adequate
111 to 125 units Good
126 to 140 units Very good
Above 140 units Outstanding

Monthly Assessment for Civil Judge, Junior Division

Quantitative Benchmark Rating

Below 98 units Inadequate
98 to 110 units Adequate
111 to 125 units Good
126 to 140 units Very good
Above 140 units Outstanding

Monthly Assessment, Judicial Magistrates, Chief Judicial Magistrate and Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate in a place where there is no Chief Judicial Magistrate

Quantitative Benchmark Rating

Below 76 units Inadequate
76 to 86 units Adequate
87 to 96 units Good
97 to 106 units Very good
Above 106 units Outstanding

Monthly Assessment for Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate

Quantitative Benchmark Rating

Below 96 units Inadequate
96 to 101 units Adequate
102 to 106 units Good
107 to 111 units Very good
Above 112 units Outstanding

For a monthly assessment, 20 days on an average are taken as available working days


A general guideline has been mandated that judicial officers should attempt to dispose of all types of matters. For getting ratings of Good, Very Good and Outstanding, additional requirements of monthly disposal have been prescribed in the following manner;

Category of JudgeRating of GoodVery GoodOutstanding
District/FTC Judge9 Civil+12
Criminal cases
12 Civil+115
Criminal cases
18 Civil+18
Criminal cases
FTC judge with less
than 2 pending civil
cases
15 sessions cases18 sessions cases24 sessions cases
Judge, City Civil
Court
5 suits+5 appeals+
5 uncontested
execution cases
9 suits+9 appeals+ 9
uncontested
execution cases
9 suits+9 appeals+ 9
uncontested
execution cases
District Judges
having more than 40
courts
4 civil+5 criminal
cases
6 civil+6 criminal
cases
9 civil+9 criminal
cases
Judges, Special
Courts Conductin I.E
Act cases
7 sessions+ 4
criminal revision
cases
9 sessions+ 6
criminal revision
cases
12 sessions+ 8
criminal revision
cases
Chief Judge, City
Civil Court/PSC
Court
6 civil cases7 civil cases9 civil cases
Chief Judge, City
Sessions Court
5 sessions/other
contested criminal
+2 criminal
revision cases
6 sessions/other
contested
criminal+3 criminal
revision cases
8 sessions/other
contested criminal+4
criminal revision
cases
Civil Judge, Senior
Division
3 suits+1 appeal4 suits+1 appeal5 suits+1 appeal
Judge, P.S.C Court
(with less then 20
pending appeals)
4 suits 5 suits6 suits
Civil Judge, Junior
Division
4 suits5 suits6 suits
Judicial Magistrate*15 cases18 cases20 cases
Addl. CJM**10 cases12 cases13 cases

*and **: In order to get a rating of Adequate, a judicial magistrate must dispose of 13 cases a month and an Addl. CJM must dispose of 8 cases a month.

Non-decisional work

The norms in West Bengal accommodate more categories of non-decisional judicial work than other States and the same has also been expressly taken into consideration while prescribing quantitative benchmarks for officers in the cadre of judicial magistrates.

  1. The non-decisional work of judicial magistrates (recording statements, conducting T.I parade etc.) has been taken into account while fixing the requirement of disposal of cases.
  2. 2 units are awarded to Judicial Magistrates for conducting T.I. Parade.
  3. 2 units are awarded to Judicial Magistrates for recording of confessional statement under Section 164 of Cr.PC.
  4. 1 unit is awarded to Judicial Magistrates for recording of statements of witnesses under Section 164 Cr.PC and
  5. 1 unit is awarded for recording statement of accused under section 313 of Cr.PC.
  6. Units have been awarded for examination and cross examination of witnesses (varying from 1 to 6 depending on the number of witnesses) in different categories of cases such as disposal u/s 235 of Cr.PC, contested matrimonial suits, contested civil suit or counter claim etc.
  7. 1 unit is awarded for framing of charges to officers in the cadre of District Judges/F.T.C Judges and Civil Judge Senior Division cum Assistant Sessions Judge.

Policy Regarding Administrative Responsibilities

In addition to the judicial functions, judicial officers usually are also entrusted with a variety of administrative responsibilities. The administrative responsibilities can be of a wide range and can also vary according to the cadre of judicial officers. These responsibilities are an important and integral aspect of their role as members of the judiciary. These responsibilities can range from organising legal literacy camps to inspection of courts. They also include conducting departmental inquiries and being part of various administrative committees.

1. District judges having 40 courts and above, Chief Judge of City Civil Court, Chief Judge of City Sessions Court and Chief Judge of P.S.C Court are awarded 80 units per year.

2. District Judges having less than 40 courts are awarded 40 units per year.

3. Officers in the Cadre of District Judges/F.T.C Judges are awarded units for inspection of jail, inspection of own court (1 unit) and for inspection of subordinate courts (4 units).

4. Judicial Magistrates are awarded 1 unit for inspection of jails.

5. Officers in the Cadre of District Judges/F.T.C Judges, Civil Judges Senior Division cum Assistant Sessions Judges, Civil Judge Junior Division and Judicial Magistrates are awarded units for annual inspection of own court. (4 for District Judges/F.T.C
Judges and 6 for other cadres)

6. Officers in the cadre of CMM, ACMMs, CJMs and ACJMs are given 20 units per year for administrative work.

7. 1 unit per programme is awarded to officers of all cadres for attending and organising Legal Aid Camps and Legal Awareness Camps.

8. 4 units are awarded for conducting departmental inquiry to officers of all cadres.

9. The requirement of units for different ratings is relaxed for District Judges having 40 or more than 40 courts under their judgeship, Chief Judge of City Civil Court and Chief Judge of City Sessions Court.

10. The requirement of units for different ratings is relaxed for District Judicial Magistrates, Chief Judicial Magistrate and Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate in a place  

11. where there is no Chief Judicial Magistrate and also for Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrates in places where there is a Chief Judicial Magistrate.


Policy Regarding Disposal of Old Cases

One of the biggest problems in the Indian judicial system has been the pendency of cases over long periods of times. Clearing the huge backlog of cases has been one of the most important objectives. States have sought to address this issue by incorporating some special provisions in the Norms regarding disposal of old cases. The issue has been addressed primarily by three alternative ways or by a combination of the three ways.

1- Officers in the Cadres of District Judges/F.T.C Judges are given additional 5 units for contested cases more than 5 years old and additional 2 units for uncontested or ex parte cases more than 5 years old.

2- It has been mandated that disposal of cases which are more than 7 years old by a judicial officer is to be given due regarded by the Zonal Judges(High Court) while making assessment of the work of the judicial officer.


Policy Regarding Concession for Leave Availed and Regarding Newly Recruited Officers

It is a general rule that whenever any officer fails to fulfil the quantitative benchmark prescribed in the Norms, the reasons for such failure may be furnished by him and the same is expected to be taken into consideration if found reasonable. In such situations, it is feasible that judicial officers may cite leave taken by them or the fact that they have newly joined the profession as reasons for not being able to fulfil the quantitative benchmark prescribed under the Norms. However, in such situations, accepting the validity of these reasons depends on the discretion of the higher authorities and such occasions also have the possibility of being fertile grounds of discrimination.

While assessing the work of a judicial officer, the actual days employed by an officer is taken into consideration. Thus, any leave availed by an officer is taken into account for a proportionate reduction in the disposal requirements.


Contents of the Annual Confidential Report(ACR) 

For analyzing the contents of the ACR Proforma, the focus is only on that part of the ACR Proforma in each State which is filled by the immediate superior of the judicial officer whose performance is being assessed.

After perusing the contents of the ACR Proforma, the questions in the ACR Proforma have been distributed into the following broad categories;

1. Category 1- Knowledge of Law
2. Category 2- Character Traits
3. Category 3- Temperament
4. Category 4- Communication skills
5. Category 5- Workload Management.
6. Category 6- Others

The first category i.e. “Knowledge of law” encompasses attributes of factual and legal reasoning of the subject matter concerned, appreciation of facts, application of law, clarity of conclusion, capacity to marshal, appreciating evidence etc. It includes both the ability to interpret the law and to apply legal principles to the facts of different cases.

The second category dealing with the “Character Traits” basically deals with the attributes of independence and integrity. The various issues and questions in this category deal with the honesty, impartiality, fairness and other such attributes in judicial officers which are deemed indispensible for a due discharge of duties.

The third category “Temperament” includes attitudinal and behavioural aspects of the conduct of judicial officers. It includes issues of courteous dealings and general demeanor of judicial officers. The relationship with the officers of the Bar, public, staff, relationship with the litigants, behavior with his colleagues and superiors, behavior outside the court etc. are
included in this category. Questions on temperament of judicial officers included in the ACR proforma in different states include the attributes of patience, open-mindedness, courtesy, tact, courage, understanding, compassion, humility etc.

The fourth category deals with the “Communication Skills” of judicial officers. Different states have different criterion for assessing the succinctness, compendiousness and economy of language used by the judicial officers whether during interaction or while writing a judgement. Wherein the ACR proforma in Maharashtra heads it under clarity, precision,
language and lucidity, the ACR proforma of Assam assesses it under the heading of brevity. Basically this section of the study takes a sweep on the ability of a judicial officer to express himself/herself clearly and concisely, whether orally or in writing.

The fifth category of “Workload Management” deals with the capacity of a judicial officer to manage his overall workload, judicial and administrative. Punctuality in attending and leaving Court or Office, control over court proceedings, timeliness in delivering the judgments and orders, the ability to dispose of the cases promptly, disposal of the pending cases, the quantity of work done etc. are the points that are included in different ACR proforma of different states to assess this categorical exposition.

The sixth and the last category “Others” includes all other miscellaneous and diverse indicators of attribute assessment of judicial officers those are not included in the abovementioned five categories. Attributes like general overall assessment of the officer with reference to his/her judicial, administrative work and ability, strength and shortcomings those are not included in other parts of the ACR, state of health, contribution to the legal services, legal aid and assistance, any innovative work or scheme implemented by the judicial officer, participation in Lok Adalats, conduction of training and awareness programmes, provision of compensation to the victims, timely visits to Jails/short stay home/ institutions etc. are included in this category.


Schemes of Promotion

 In the State of WB  promotion to the cadre of senior civil judge is based on the principle of merit cum seniority. There exists  three modes of appointment to the cadre of district judges- regular promotion, accelerated promotion and direct recruitment and the breakup of the vacancy is usually 65%, 10% and 25% respectively.  The regular promotion of senior civil judges as district judges is based on the principle of merit cum seniority in WB.

In any scheme of promotion, the determination of the criteria on which matters of promotion will be decided reflects the qualities which are valued in the organisation. On most occasions, principles of ‘merit cum seniority’ or ‘seniority cum merit’ or ‘merit’ are cited as the basis on which questions of promotion are decided. The criteria of promotion refers to those tangible parameters which are employed to implement these principles. The Annual Confidential Reports of past five years is usually evaluated when the judicial officer is considered for promotion. A certain number of judgments, usually, both civil and criminal of the judicial officer considered for promotion to the cadre of senior civil judge is evaluated. The judicial officer is not considered for promotion if there is a departmental proceeding or enquiry pending against the judicial officer and s/he is to be promoted only after the conclusion of the proceeding or enquiry in her/his favour.

Cadre Eligibility criteria

Civil Judge to Senior Civil Judge: The judicial officer should be in service as a Civil Judge for six years.
Principle: Merit cum seniority

Senior Civil Judge to District Judge Regular Promotion: The judicial officer should be in service as a Civil Judge (Senior
Division).
Principle: Merit cum seniority

Accelerated Promotion: The judicial officer should be in service as a Civil Judge (Senior Division) for not less than five years.
Principle: Merit

Basic Criteria for promotion of Civil judge to the Senior post

1. Evaluation of Judgments
2. Evaluation of Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs)
3. Disposal Record
4. Character/Integrity
5. Departmental Proceeding/Enquiry
6. Vigilance report

Criteria for regular promotion to the cadre of district judges are:

1. Suitability test
2. ACRs
3. Judgments
4. Disposal Records
5. Character/Integrity
6. Pending Departmental Proceedings/Enquiry
7. Vigilance report

To assess the merit of judicial officers eligible for promotion, suitability test is conducted. Usually, suitability test is a written examination and is sometimes followed by a viva voce.


BASED ON : Performance Evaluation and Promotion Schemes of Judicial Officers in India – A Comparative Report -2018- DEPT of Justice Govt of India

Categories: CIVIL

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